Review: Devils Dance Tour 2014

with Chiodos, Emarosa, Hands Like Houses, Our Last Night and ‘68

@ Rio Theater

After Chiodos’ reunion with original vocalist Craig Owens and drummer Derrick Frost, the post-hardcore rock group has made a strong comeback. On their latest tour in support of their album Devil, Chiodos hit the Rio Theater with several guests with a show that left all punk rock fans in Vancouver with awe and ringing ears.

As the last people rolled into the theater from the merch stand, ‘68 – a duo consisting of esteemed metalcore vocalist Josh Scogin and drummer Michael McClellan, began to play. The pair burst the eardrums of everyone in a hundred meter radius, making the audience bob their heads to the beat as Scogin’s gutteral voice rang throughout the room. In fact, they were so loud that they found a note on their amp from the sound personnel that read “You’re too loud. Sound police here – have to try to keep dB @ 105 or they shut down. :(“, which Scogin dismissed with the air of a nonchalant rocker. Perhaps their volume compensated for their messy and somewhat unbalanced guitar-drums synergy, but either way their performance definitely set the tone for the night.

Following up ‘68’ was Our Last Night, a New Hampshire metalcore/screamo band which brought  a dark, romantic atmosphere to the stage. The band rocked to a few fan favorites including “Dark Storm”, “Sunrise” and even a cover of Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” which completely blew the audience away. Lead singer Trevor Wentworth’s young stage presence and vocals definitely hyped up the crowd, causing the even the chillest of punk fans to pump their fist, at the least.

Next up was the long-awaited Hands Like Houses, who surprised the audience by playing acoustic versions of their songs with only three of their six members, due to van and equipment issues.Their softer performance provided a light and refreshing foil to their predecessors, though lead singer Trenton Woodley still brought with the same passion as he did with the band’s original tracks. With piercing vocals and intricate guitar riffs, the band definitely gave the audience a show, despite not having their whole group. The trio closed with their hit song “Introduced Species”.

The sound police were promptly brought back to attention from HLH’s quiet lull, as Emarosa hit the stage with powerful vocals accompanied by ear-splitting guitar and drums. In between songs, the band would banter back and forth with a friendly, positive and unexpectedly polite air- a serious contrast from their uncompromising and heavy-handed set.

Finally, the main act: Chiodos. Their performance was a drunken myriad of hair whipping, moshing and barking from Craig Owens to the audience to get on their feet and jump. They rocked a few of their tracks from Devil, including “Under Your Halo,”  and “Ole Fishlips is Dead Now”. The band pranced about the stage with unrivaled energy as Owens, belted out his trademark screams – which the audience wholeheartedly revelled in. Towards their end of their set, the audience was consumed in a huge mosh pit, with several fans getting up on stage and jamming along with the band before being swallowed into the crowd once more. Chiodos played with perfect indifference, unfazed, even as theater personnel escorted several people out and broke up heated fights. Chiodos held the epitomized “rock band” image throughout their hectic and capricious set, replying to sharp comments and witty complaints with,“Who cares? This is a f***ing rock concert!”

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